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Government of Rwanda Announces Joint Global Summit on Malaria & NTDs, Partners Come Together for World NTD Day & Other NTD News

News roundup

This news roundup is a collection of headlines and other items on neglected tropical diseases, and does not reflect the work or the views of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center.  

On January 27, the government of Rwanda announced a joint Global Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases to take place on June 25th in Kigali.


Lymphatic filariasis

Molecular xenomonitoring as a post-MDA surveillance tool for global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. . .

Swaminathan Subramanian et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
The study was conducted in Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu, India, which was found eligible for [transmission assessment survey, or] TAS after 15 annual rounds of MDA (4 with DEC alone and 11 with DEC plus albendazole). . . The result of [molecular xenomonitoring, or] MX protocol was in good agreement with that of TAS, providing evidence to recommend MX as a complementary tool to TAS to decide on stopping [mass drug administration, or] MDA.

NTDs in Nigeria: working together for change

Kirsty Smith
On a recent trip to Abuja in Nigeria, I met a woman with LF who was continuing to carry out all the domestic work and take care of her family. When I asked her: “What impact has this had on your life?” her upbeat response was: “What do you mean, impact?” This gave me an over-riding sense of how accepting people are of this condition, which they have often lived with for many years before they receive any diagnosis or treatment. . . It is imperative we involve health advocates at all levels, starting at the grassroots, so that communities can take ownership of programmes and the State has a hugely important part to play in promoting and supporting this involvement.

Caring for patients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

One of the NTDs Sightsavers treats in the DRC is lymphatic filariasis (LF), a leading cause of physical disability. The latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that there are 120 million people infected with LF worldwide, and in 2017 an estimated 42.6 million people in the DRC needed treatment for it. . . Marie Claire has experienced the pain of LF for over 10 years, and the stigma that often comes with it: “People are rejecting me and criticising me. It breaks my heart that people are treating me this way. They even tell my husband to divorce me but he does not care.”

VIDEO: Accelerating India’s Fight Against Lymphatic Filariasis

Global Health Strategies
India carries one of the highest burden of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) across the globe. Learn how an eclectic group of stakeholders are coming together to change that #WorldNTDDay #BeatNTDs


River blindness in East Africa: gains and losses

Esther Nakkazi
Fifty year old Santina Apoto is a mother of five children and lives in a small village in the Kitgum district of Uganda. Her eyes are cloudy and seem permanently fixed on a distant point. Because of onchocerciasis, or river blindness, Apoto has been blind for over a decade now. The flies that are to blame for the disease know no geographic boundaries—onchocerciasis elimination requires strong cross border collaborations to avoid transmission. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Uganda are all making efforts to eliminate it. Uganda is the nearest to that goal and DRC is following suit. South Sudan is not yet on course.

TY Danjuma Foundation Doles Out N200m For Education, Health Projects

Chibuzo Ukaibe Abuja
Leadership (Nigeria)
The executive director, Mission To Save The Helpless, MITOSATH, Dr. Francisca Olamiju, who also spoke to newsmen, commended the foundation’s consistency and commitment to its areas of intervention over the years. “TY Danjuma Foundation is very unique because it was set up on passion and it is Nigerian. It is indigenous and it is a foundation that General TY Danjuma (retd) himself set up to meet the needs of the people of Nigeria. It comes with training because they don’t just give you grants, they train you. After the training, they also visit for monitoring, evaluation and measurement of impact of their intervention. One of the impacts we have had is that for example, I can speak of Onchocersiasisin Taraba state. We can proudly say that for the past ten years, we did not have anybody that has gone blind due to river blindness and it all started with General TY Danjuma Foundation and even the man himself. This is a success story that we can celebrate today,” she said.

Special Issue "Onchocerciasis and River Epilepsy"

Robert Colebunders and Jacob Soupgui
For this Special Issue of Pathogens, we invite you to submit research articles, review articles, short notes, as well as communications that could contribute to a better understanding of the link between onchocerciasis and epilepsy. This includes papers about epidemiological and clinical aspects of OAE, potential pathophysiological mechanisms, basic research about O. volvulus, and very importantly research about how to prevent and treat river epilepsy. We look forward to your contribution.


Identifying aquatic plants with drones could be the key to reducing a parasitic infection in people

Chelsea L. Wood
Our team had been using drones to get an aerial image of the aquatic habitat at each water-access site. We noticed that snails tended to associate with certain kinds of aquatic vegetation that were visible in our drone imagery. This realization allowed us to make an important discovery: human schistosomiasis infections were more common at sites where this suitable snail habitat was present.

Schistosomiasis then and now: what has changed in the last 100 years?

R. Alan Wilson
(Accepted Manuscript) The introduction of praziquantel ~1982 has revolutionised the treatment of infected individuals and led directly to the mass drug administration programmes. In turn, the severe pathological consequences of high worm burdens have been minimised, and for S. haematobium infections the incidence of associated squamous cell carcinoma has been reduced. In comparison, the development of effective vaccines has yet to come to fruition. The elimination of schistosomiasis japonica from Japan shows what is possible, using multiple lines of approach, but the clear and present danger is that the whole edifice of schistosome control is balanced on the monotherapy of praziquantel, and the development of drug resistance could topple that.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

What does soil-transmitted helminth elimination look like? Results from a targeted molecular detection survey in Japan

Mitsuko Hasegawa et al.
Parasites & Vectors
Given that traditional microscopic detection methods are not sensitive to low-intensity STH infections, we conducted targeted prevalence surveys using sensitive PCR-based assays to evaluate the current STH-transmission status and to describe epidemiological characteristics of areas of Japan believed to have achieved historical elimination of STHs.

Prevalence and factors associated with intestinal parasites among children of age 6 to 59 months in, Boricha district. . .

Berhan Tsegaye, Amanuel Yoseph & Hunachew Beyene
BMC Pediatrics
Intestinal parasites are the commonest cause of childhood diarrhea and malnutrition in Ethiopia. Information about intestinal parasites is the first fundamental step for designing intervention strategies against them. Hence, health planners can maximize their efforts. Information is scarce about intestinal parasites among children of under-five years of age in Boricha district. Therefore, this study aimed at assessing prevalence and factors associated with intestinal parasites among children of age 6 to 59 months in Boricha district, South Ethiopia.

UMass Medical School to participate in World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day on Jan. 30

Jim Fessenden
UMass Med NOW
Patrick Skelly, PhD, associate chair and professor of infectious disease & global health at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, will be presenting the talk How schistosomes impede immunity and thrombosis on Jan. 30. . . Dr. Aroian and Gary Ostroff, PhD, professor of molecular medicine, are hosting Dr. Skelly. The discovery of new and superior treatments for human soil-transmitted helminths, or intestinal parasites, is urgently needed and a primary focus of the Aroian lab. A debilitating tropical disease second only to malaria, hookworm, whipworm, and Ascaris (large roundworm) infect upwards of 2 billion people in the world and are the leading causes of childhood stunting (physical and cognitive), malnutrition, adverse pregnancy outcomes and loss of productivity worldwide.


How One African Country Is Working to Eliminate a Neglected Tropical Disease

Jacky Habib
Global Citizen
Fred Tibamwagine, a senior medical clinical officer with the Ministry of Health in Uganda, says the partnership with the WHO and Sightsavers, which began in 2016, is a major reason why trachoma has nearly been eliminated in Uganda. . . Tibamwagine recalls how trachoma would impact entire communities, saying he often saw cases where the elderly went blind due to trachoma, and children in their family would not go to school, in order to care for them. Things have changed drastically since then, he says.

The immuno-pathogenesis of progressive scarring trachoma: results of a four-year longitudinal study in Tanzanian children

Tamsyn Derrick et al.
Infection and Immunity
A cohort study was performed in northern Tanzania in 616 children aged 6-10 at enrolment. Every three months for four years, children were examined for clinical signs of trachoma and conjunctival swabs were collected for C. trachomatis detection and to analyse the expression of 46 immuno-fibrogenic genes. Data were analysed in relation to progressive scarring status between baseline and the final time-point. . . Our findings highlight the importance of innate pro-inflammatory signals from the epithelium and implicate IL-23A-responsive cells in driving trachomatous scarring, with potential key mechanistic roles for PDGFB, MMP12 and SPARCL1 in orchestrating fibrosis.


Rwanda to host first-ever Global Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases

Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases
The Government of Rwanda announced today that it will host a global Summit on malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) on 25 June 2020, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali. The Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases will be the first formal gathering to bring united global attention and calls-to-action to ending these preventable yet often deadly diseases that have plagued humans for thousands of years.

Taking the neglected out of neglected tropical diseases

The Lancet Global Health
In December, 2019, Nairobi, Kenya hosted the first international conference on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa. The theme, “cross-border partnership towards achieving control and elimination of NTDs”, recognised that cooperation beyond national borders is crucial for success in the fight against NTDs. The importance of collaboration to control NTDs came to global attention in 2012, with the launch of the WHO Roadmap on NTDs 2012–20 and the London Declaration on NTDs, which saw governments, donors, multilateral agencies, non-governmental organisations, and pharmaceutical companies coming together to commit to control, eliminate, or eradicate ten of WHO's priority NTDs by 2020. Jan 30 will mark 8 years since the London Declaration on NTDs. That same date will also mark the inaugural World NTD Day.

The Ambitious Goal of Beating Neglected Tropical Diseases

The Task Force for Global Health
On January 30, 2012, representatives of countries impacted by NTDs, NGOs, pharmaceutical companies, and donors came together to sign the London Declaration on NTDs, pledging to work together to fight ten diseases. Their shared vision was to meet the goals set out in the World Health Organization’s Roadmap for NTDs. Less than a decade later, the number of individuals requiring preventive treatment for these NTDs has decreased by 200 million. That’s 200 million people who are no longer at risk of going blind because of trachoma, enduring the unbearable itch or threat of blindness from onchocerciasis, facing malnutrition from intestinal worms, or suffering the stigma and disability of elephantiasis. As these individuals become healthier, so do the societies in which they live. In fact, research shows that every dollar invested in eliminating NTDs has a potential to return more than $40 in productivity (5). That amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars restored to the global economy.

Dear Decaturish – Your neighbors are beating neglected tropical diseases

Chelsea Toledo
Anybody else binge-watching Dolly Parton’s “Heartstrings” this winter? If so, you may have heard one of the characters gossiping about someone who went to a honkey tonk only to leave with chlamydia of the eye. Did you know that’s a real thing? . . . That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are ways to prevent trachoma. Furthermore, there’s an organization right in the heart of Decatur, The Task Force for Global Health, which manages the distribution of medicines that will eventually eliminate trachoma for good. The Task Force also has programs to prevent elephantiasis, intestinal worms, river blindness and leprosy (also a real thing).

The Epidemiology of Compassion and Love: In the DNA of the NTD Movement

The Task Force for Global Health
On January 8-10 2020, the Focus Area for Compassion and Ethics (FACE) convened a meeting at The Task Force for Global Health on an unlikely topic in the global health arena: “The Epidemiology of Compassion and Love.” . . . The practical application of compassion and love is clear in programs aimed to eliminate diseases like lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, and leprosy, among others. These programs not only endeavor to alleviate the intense suffering of some of the most marginalized people on the planet but also prevent future suffering, so that the next generation of individuals in currently affected communities can thrive.

Understanding the Gender Lens of Neglected Tropical Diseases

Nidhi Dubey
Outlook (India)
Women’s low socio-economic status, poor access to appropriate healthcare information, and poverty acts as barriers to accessing healthcare interventions including prevention, treatment and diagnosis, potentially increasing their exposure to and intensity of NTDs and resultant disabilities. Stories of survivors from the hinterlands of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra show diseases such as [lymphatic filariasis, or] LF causing permanent disability and deformity leading to women being ostracized and shunned.

Let’s fight neglected tropical diseases to reduce poverty - GHS

Dr Benjamin Marfo, the Programmes Manager for the NTDs programme, Ghana Health Service (GHS), has called on the public to help fight Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) to do away with poverty. He said NTDs increased the cycle of poverty, and needed to be controlled to enhance the financial ability of people and the economy at large. NTDs include Elephantiasis, River Blindness, Buruli Ulcer, Leprosy, River Blindness, and Intestinal Worm Infestation. “When a person has elephantiasis or river blindness, they are not able to work and the person cannot go to the farm if he or she is a farmer, so that might be the beginning of poverty in the person’s home. So if we start fighting this, poverty in the country will reduce,” he said.

Water Currents

The provision of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is recognized as both a key intervention and a necessary component for the prevention and provision of care for all neglected tropical diseases. USAID’s Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Program in the Bureau for Global Health contributed content and suggested this topic as a way to highlight the first-ever World NTD Day on January 30, 2020. World awareness days, such as this one, offer an opportunity to mobilize greater attention and action on priority issues, particularly in the countries and communities most directly affected. . . This issue of Water Currents updates the May 2019 NTD issue with USAID NTD resources and just-published studies on dengue, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminth infections, and trachoma.

Introducing REDRESS: LSTM's latest project reducing the burden of severe stigmatising skin diseases

LSTM has received nearly £3.5 million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to help improve the care of people affected by severe stigmatising skin diseases (SSSDs) in Liberia. REDRESS, led by Karsor Kollie, Professor Sally Theobald and Laura Dean will use a person-centered approach to evaluate, develop and adapt health systems interventions for the management of SSSDs to generate learning for other settings in sub-Saharan Africa.


Defying Stigma and Discrimination: Being Affected by Leprosy Brings More Challenges Than Just the Disease

The Task Force for Global Health
Amar Bahadur Timulsina was diagnosed with leprosy at 12 years old. Being from a remote village in Nepal where treatment for the disease was unavailable, he traveled on foot with his father to reach medical help, walking two days to reach Kathmandu. They went from one hospital to another but didn’t receive the treatment he needed until he reached Anandaban Leprosy Hospital. There he was diagnosed and finally received the treatment he needed. Timulsina returned to his village after completing his treatment but found that he was no longer welcomed by his community. News of his diagnosis had spread, and the environment was so hostile that he was forced to leave. He returned to Kathmandu and was taken in by an orphanage upon the recommendation of his doctors from the hospital.

Rabies: An ancient relic overdue for elimination thrives amongst the neglected tropical diseases

Andy Gibson
Infectious Diseases Hub
Unlike many other neglected tropical diseases, rabies elimination is achievable and cost-effective, but decades of research have failed to translate into multi-national efforts in the worst-affected areas. So why is the ancient rabies virus still terrorizing the lives of so many people across the globe?

Venom-producing snake organoids developed in the lab

Professor Nick Casewell from LSTM’s Centre for Snakebite Research and Interventions (CSRI) has been involved in a ground-breaking project that has developed a method to grow snake venom glands as organoids, or mini organs derived from stem cells. These lab-grown mini glands produce and secrete active toxins found in snake venom and hold much promise for improving our understanding of venom toxins and for use in helping to mitigate the devastating impact of snakebite.

Guinea Worm Wrap-up #265

The Carter Center
As of November 2019, Mali hasn’t reported any new human cases of Guinea worm disease for four consecutive years. As of the end of December 2019, Ethiopia hasn’t reported any new human cases of Guinea worm disease for two consecutive years. Chad’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program reported 48 human cases, 1,927 dog infections, and 46 cat infections in January-December 2019. The South Sudan Guinea Worm Eradication Program held its 14th Annual Review at the Palm Africa Hotel in Juba on December 12-13, 2019. In late November 2019, Drs. Dieudonne Sankara and Andrew Seidu Korkor of the World Health Organization visited Cameroon to continue investigations around the case of Guinea worm disease that was detected in a woman from the Kokaina neighborhood of Dabana village in Guere health district of Cameroon’s Far North Region in March 2019.

Testing the Sterile Insect Technique as a Vector Control Tool Against Aedes-borne Diseases

This guidance prepared as part of the collaboration between the IAEA, in partnership with the FAO, TDR and WHO, addresses all relevant topics for testing at large scale the SIT on mosquito populations. It details the SIT application phased approach, which starts from research in controlled conditions in phase I, moves to small-scale field trials in phase II, then large-scale trials in natural conditions in phase III, and finally pilot implementation in phase IV. Evidence of the efficacy of the SIT in reducing disease transmission will help inform larger-scale deployment of the technology.

AUDIO: Dengue in 2019, the vaccines and the quest for a World Dengue Day

Robert Herriman
Outbreak News Today
In 2019, we saw one of the worst years on record for dengue worldwide. Numbers were up in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Joining me today from London to look at the past year in dengue, the progress with vaccines and 2020 and beyond is Kamran Rafiq. Kamran is the Co-Founder and Communications Director of the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD). The ISNTD are spearheading a global campaign calling on the WHO and the UN to ratify an official World DENGUE Day.

Expression of Interest for GPZL Country Support

Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy
The Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy wants to support high, medium and low leprosy-burden countries all around the world. Countries that would like GPZL country support can show their interest by completing the form linked here.

Social Innovation in Health Evaluation Contest

SESH Global
Are you interested in social innovation in health? Social innovation is a form of problem-solving solutions engaging communities that prioritize impact and sustainability while aiming to create positive social change. Do you have an idea on how to monitor social innovation performance? How to understand what works and what does not work? An idea on the key indicators predicting issues that might prevent the innovation to sustain and /or scale-up? Tools to evaluate innovation performance? Join our challenge contest! Entries are due by 1 February.

Upcoming Events 

Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2020
January 28-February 2, 2020, Bangkok, Thailand
The Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) is an annual international conference focusing on policy-related health issues. The PMAC 2020 is co-hosted by the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, Mahidol University, the World Health Organization, The World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children's Fund, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, United States Agency for International Development, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency, China Medical Board, The Rockefeller Foundation, Chatham House, with support from other key related partners. The Conference will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 28 January – 2 February 2020. The theme of the conference is “Accelerating Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage”.

Chagas ECHO: Chagas at the Primary Care Level
January 29, 2020, Online, 1 PM EST
Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) uses teleconference technology to connect health professionals to a multi-disciplinary team of experts to share knowledge and build community capacity to delivery best-practice care. Learning objectives include: provide education about screening and diagnosis of Chagas disease; assist with improving surveillance for both acute and chronic Chagas diseasel and disseminate lessons learned via case studies and expert understanding of Chagas disease to reach clinicians in underserved areas.

"Elimination Game" at Science Museum Lates
January 29, 2020, London, UK
Everyone attending the Science Museum Lates event will be able to try their hand at our Elimination Game – a coconut shy-style game where you can physically ‘eliminate’ neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Visitors will also be able to take home an artistic photo of their eye taken by creative agency EYECONART. The theme of this month’s Late is ‘Medicine’ to celebrate the opening of the museum’s Medicine: Wellcome Galleries, where you can also see the work of Sightsavers surgeon Samson Lokele. The event will represent some of our NTD programme work funded by UK aid.

World NTD Day
January 30, 2020
Join us to kick off a decisive year in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Together, we’ll celebrate hard-earned progress in the face of enormous challenges and take action to #BeatNTDs: For good. For all.

Understanding the Gender Dimensions of Neglected Tropical Diseases
January 30, 2020, 8 AM EST
Our international panel will discuss the importance of sex, gender and their intersection with other social determinants of health in tackling NTDs, meeting the goals of the WHO Roadmap on Neglected Tropical Diseases 2012–2020, enhancing access and delivery of health interventions and contributing towards the attainment of universal health coverage and the SDGs.

January 30, 2020, 10 AM EST
On behalf of FHI 360 and USAID’s Act to End NTDs | East and Act to End NTDs | West programs, we excited to invite you to join us for a Twitter chat to raise awareness about NTDs on the first-ever World NTD Day.

BeatNTDs: Celebrating World NTD Day
January 30, 2020, Decatur, GA
For more than 30 years, The Task Force for Global Health has worked on the elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) which are a group of ancient diseases that threaten 1.6 billion people living in the poorest and most marginalized communities worldwide. What sets NTDs apart is the way they blind, disable, or disfigure people, taking away not only their health, but also their chances of staying in school, earning a living, or even being accepted by their family or community. Learn more about these discriminating diseases by joining us for a panel discussion with global health practitioners from The Carter Center, RTI International, and The Task Force for Global Health on why they are passionate and dedicated to beating NTDs and why you should be too.

Funding Global Health R&D: What's next to meet public health needs?
January 30, 2020, Brussels, Belgium
Research and innovation have an essential role in bridging the health inequality gaps worldwide. While funding for research in neglected diseases is going up, available public and private funds are limited and need to be invested in a way that best answers global public health needs. At a time of change for the European Union, from the start of a new legislature to the negotiations of a new multi-annual financial framework, this POLITICO event will look into trends in global health financing and where the opportunities and gaps lie to meet global public health needs.

Topics in Infection 2020
January 31, 2020, London, UK
With our partners Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and Public Health England, RSTMH is honoured to host this important event that has been bringing together microbiologists, consultants in infectious disease, infection control nurses and biomedical and clinical scientists for 45 years. Hear updates on recent “hot topics” in all aspects of infectious diseases and network with colleagues at our drinks reception.

73rd World Health Assembly Executive Board
February 3-8, 2020, Geneva, Switzerland
The Executive Board is composed of 34 technically qualified members elected for three-year terms. The annual Board meeting is held in January when the members agree upon the agenda for the World Health Assembly and the resolutions to be considered by the Health Assembly.

Expert consultation to finalize WHO methods and operating procedures for aircraft disinsection
February 19-21, 2020, Geneva, Switzerland
The meeting will recommend and develop guidance on the methods and operating procedures for aircraft disinsection. Requirements of International Health Regulations (2005) include several provisions for vector control measures, including disinsection relating to aircraft and other conveyances, as well as measures to maintain airports free from sources of infection.

NTD Supply Chain Forum
February 25-26, 2020, Geneva, Switzerland
The Supply Chain Forum is held to discuss outstanding issues and challenges related to supply chain management of donated preventive medicines for five of the neglected tropical diseases and proposes solutions and outlines actionable items. The forum is also an opportunity for implementing partners to share experience, best practices and update progress made in each area of focus by the different partners in the supply chain management.

CSW64 / Beijing+25 (2020)
March 9-20, 2020, New York, NY
In 2020, the global community will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). A five-year milestone will be reached towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 2020 is therefore a pivotal year for the accelerated realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, everywhere.

Communication, Coordination and Collaboration Meeting
March 10-12, 2020, Istanbul, Turkey
Annual institutional meeting between WHO and donors of medicines (albendazole, mebendazole, DEC, Triclabendazole). The main aim is to discuss progress as outlines in the various memorandums of understanding signed with donors and to discuss problems, bottlenecks and objectives.

Global Leishmaniasis Programme review meeting
February 27-28, 2020, Geneva, Switzerland
Discussions will include a review of leishmaniasis surveillance, from the health facility to the national, regional and global level and actions needed to improve surveillance, data sharing, analysis and dissemination in a timely manner. Participants will also deliberate access to health products (diagnostic tests and medicines) and the categorization for endemicity levels globally and/or per eco-epidemiological region.

Research Ideas Showcase, India
March 11-18, 2020, Geneva, Switzerland
This meeting is designed specifically for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and recent graduates to present their ideas for research in tropical medicine and global health to peers and senior experts. Researchers, professionals, scientists and others who are studying or have completed studies in the last three years in subjects aligned to tropical medicine or global health are invited to apply for the opportunity to present their ideas.

24th Review Meeting of National Dracunculiasis Eradication Programmes
March 15-17, 2020, Atlanta, GA
The aim of the meeting - co-organized by WHO, The Carter Centre and UNICEF - is to review progress made during 2019 and prepare a plan of action for 2020 focusing on the need to intensify the interruption of guinea-worm disease transmission and strengthen surveillance in the now guinea-worm disease free areas.

World Health Summit Regional Meeting
April 27-28, 2020, Kampala, Uganda
The central topics of the Regional Meeting 2020 are in line with the African journey towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and achieving universal health coverage. We invite academic institutions, companies, foundations, and other organizations to get involved. If you wish to contribute and become a partner of the Regional Meeting, please get in touch to discuss the opportunites.

Beijing +25 Mexico Forum
May 7-8, 2020, Mexico City, Mexico
The Generation Equality Forum will call for urgent action on achieving equality, demanding equal economic and social opportunities for women while calling for an end to all forms of violence against women and girls. 

73rd World Health Assembly
May 17-20, 2020, Geneva, Switzerland
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

CHOGM 2020
June 2020, Kigali, Rwanda
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is a pivotal agenda-setting and decision-making space for the diverse community of 53 Commonwealth countries. With varying economic statuses and vast oceans between them, our leaders meet every two years to explore how they can pool their resources and innovations to transform joint challenges into exciting opportunities. In June 2020, Rwanda will host the meeting. Connected by similar traditions, language, governance and legal structures, presidents, prime ministers and monarchs, from Africa, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, will travel to Kigali to reaffirm their common values and agree actions and policies to improve the lives of all their citizens.

Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases
June 25 2020, Kigali, Rwanda
Based on the Commonwealth 2018-2023 Malaria Commitment, the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), a renewed World Health Organization (WHO) roadmap on NTDs and thanks to the leadership of President Kagame and Heads of Government from many countries, there is an opportunity to focus global attention and accelerate action towards ending these preventable and treatable diseases at the time of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda.

NTD NGO Network Annual Meeting
September 8-10, 2020, Kathmandu, Nepal
2020 will be an important year: celebrating the success and embracing the new NTD Roadmap from the World Health Organization. Please get your stories ready and join the celebration!

75th Session of the UN General Assembly 
September 15-30, 2020, New York, NY
All 193 Member States of the Organization are represented in the General Assembly - one of the six main organs of the UN - to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations, such as development, peace and security, international law, etc. Every year in September, all the Members meet in this unique forum at Headquarters in New York for the General Assembly session.

11th IAPB General Assembly
October 12-14, 2020, Singapore
The General Assembly will mark the end of the VISION 2020: The Right to Sight period. It will present a great opportunity to take stock, celebrate successes and make plans for the future. A key focus will be on the WHO’s World Report on Vision and its framework for the future. The event will have three co-chairs leading on three streams: “Excellence”, “Eye Health in the West Pacific” and “Sustainability”. 

Expo 2020 Dubai: Global Best Practice Programme
October 20 2020 - April 10, 2021
Expo 2020 Dubai’s platform to showcase projects that have provided tangible solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. It will highlight simple but effective initiatives, which localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and can be adapted, replicated, and scaled to achieve an enhanced global impact.

World Health Summit 
October 25-27, 2020, Berlin, Germany
The World Health Summit is one of the world’s leading strategic forums for global health. Held annually in Berlin, it brings together leaders from politics, science and medicine, the private sector, and civil society to set the agenda for a healthier future. 300 speakers and 2,500 participants from 100 countries take part.